Thursday, 3 August 2017

Glory to God for Answered Prayers

Prayer is a timeless expression of faith. We pray at every opportunity about anything that concerns us. We ask God to provide for our every specific need. That’s why when our prayers are answered, we feel very blessed and we begin to thank God for it.

But there are mixed feelings over answered prayers sometimes. It’s so easy to get in our heads and be lost in amazement when people say, “You deserve it!” or  “You’re worth it!” Suddenly, the focus of glory shifts away from God to us.

God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27), out of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).

I was nothing until God formed me. I was nothing until God breathed into me. Then, I become alive. We become alive.

We are just shadows of the real supreme God, without his Light, we are caught in darkness. We’re gone. Vanished without a trace.

We are image bearers. His Image we bear reflect His creativity, productivity, wisdom, knowledge, love and character – these are all gifts to bring Him glory. Nothing is commended to us.

So, we should not forget but always remember.

Glory belongs to God. It is the purpose for which everything was made. It is the reason grace is given to us so that in everything we do, God may be glorified. (1Peter 4:11)

Prayer becomes an act of worship to God whom glory belongs. Forever. Our Creator deserves highest praise and honor.

So then, we celebrate in our answered prayers. He gave us the reason to celebrate, not just answering a single prayer but by giving us the best answer to all our prayers.

Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the best Yes to all our prayers. His death on the cross and his resurrection provide our redemption to experience all the best things God can give us.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

So, we keep on praying, presenting our requests to God and hoping for answered prayers. For His love has already given us the Best Yes to all our supplication, and He alone deserves the glory. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Looking forward to summer

Aah! It's been awhile.
I haven't visited this humble abode in a good while.

I miss this little writing space. Had been busy lately... mom stuff and work stuff.

But, thank God! Kids are off school and things are calming down. We're all looking forward to a relaxing summer holiday. I just want to put my feet up and relax. And this is it!

An outdoor activity...a trip to the beach is what we're planning for. It's always a family favorite. An out of town trip has always been our summer tradition. There are really good places to see here in Ireland. The landscape here is spectacular. You should come!

Hopefully, the weather picks up again, as we don't get much sunshine here. We get the four seasons in a day, kind of weather.😉

What's your plan for this summer?

Whatever you do, enjoy and stay safe.




And may you all enjoy your summer holiday too! Blessings ☺

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Cord of Hope

She came to our unit for close monitoring: low mental state, metabolic acidosis and narrowly compromised vital signs. She must be seventy years old... no, forty-five?! Forty-five years old! Frail and emaciated, she looked like she just emerged from a concentration camp.

A camp she must have built for herself. Her history suggested alcohol abuse. Deranged liver enzymes showed a damaged liver. How can a person live through this? 

And she may not be the only one. There are more out there hiding in their own fancy yet fatal disguise.

I looked after her on that day and some days, too. I noticed a scratch on my arm at the end of my shift. I didn’t know where I got it, but then I thought it could be from her as she tried to resist me when I was doing my nursing care. 

The scratch has now became a cut. Her harsh lifestyle certainly cuts and she didn’t even know it. Unintentional. Unmindful of self.

How many days can you count before awakening?

I remember Rahab. 

When Rahab heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before the Israelites when they came out of Egypt and what they did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, who were devoted to destruction, her heart melted. 

She was called from her world of pagan worship and pornographic desire. Her dissolute character was forgiven.

She was stirred so she believed. Once a godless harlot is now a believer of the Lord God whom she described as God in the heavens and the earth beneath. (Joshua 2:10-11)
She hid the spies... lied to the king... deceived the king’s men.

She risked her life because she believed.

When her heart melted, her faith grew strong and it moved her.

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

Where true faith expose itself in good works and endeavor in risk for the cause of God, salvation is a secure reward.

Rahab, a sinner saved by God’s grace.

As she tied the scarlet cord in the window, grace flaunts in divine resolve. (Joshua 2:18, 21)

The cord in Hebrew is tiqvah, means Hope.

An expectation. A thing longed for.

As the scarlet cord dangles, her hope flourished and she waited faithfully until salvation arrived.

Hope is the only thing that will keep you from despair – C.S. Lewis

True. It sweeps insanity away. It shines like the morning sun, enables us to see with clarity and repurposes our thoughts. It replaces our dark, weary,  and challenged past because only light can reveal what shadows really look like. And shadows always stay behind us when we let the light stay before us.

I came back from my days off and she was already moved. Days have passed and I have not seen her again. Until one day, there she was from a distance, walking with a zimmerframe. With her faithful son, she was walking on the road to recovery. It may be long and narrow, but I hope she makes it.

And the scratch? It is now a scar. I’ve had so many scratches from nursing at bedside, they’ve all healed and gone but the caring experience remains. 

Hope beckons a new start.

We cling to the scarlet cord where three strands bind: the triune God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Every fiber of the cord stretches to the throne of grace to redeem and renew our spirit with blazing fire of hope. We will become radiant when we experience His glory.

We must believe. We must act our faith. Just as Rahab did. She didn’t sit on her faith, she walked by faith.

And she invites us to walk with her in faith.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Lessons from young Miriam

A new phase opens up to us as Niamh starts secondary school. She is in a new territory: new school, meeting new faces, and settling into a new set of routine. 

It was just like yesterday when our two children were in the same school together:  traveled in the same car, shared the same schedule and following similar routine. But things change – they grow up.

A little girl next door shows up at our doorstep each school morning to collect Naomi. Her dad and my husband take turns in bringing them to and from school.

With Niamh gone, Naomi is faced with a change. A challenge emerge for her to be responsible on her own and act as big sister to this little girl neighbor. Niamh used to lead them both, now it’s her turn.

At the end of summer, Niamh graduated from Sunday school. She had a great time, made good friends and learned about Jesus. Memories of kids camps are her treasures. 

I never experienced Sunday school as a child. For my daughters to grow up in it’s environment is a blessed experience. It is church family. Our gratitude extends not only to the teachers but to every worker who committed to minister to every child.

I’m sure she’ll miss it as she move on to the youth group, and Naomi will miss her too, both in small school and Sunday school. But they’re ready for change. And there’s a lesson from a young Miriam whom they can draw out inspiration from to better the change.

Exodus 2:1-10. Reading this passage illustrates three actions how a young Miriam responded to change in her family circumstances with wisdom and courage. 

Be an observer. And, his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Exodus 2:4.
Miriam watched carefully to see what would happen to her baby brother Moses. In the same way, you can be mindful of what you see around you. Take your time.  Is there an opportunity to help? To learn? Or to spread good cheer? Listen to what other people are saying and look at what they’re doing, you may learn a thing or two from them. 

Take initiative with good intentions. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”. And the Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. Exodus 2:7-9

If you’re the mother of  Moses, isn’t it heartbreaking to let go of a vulnerable child? Yet, Miriam’s intentions were to save her brother’s life, thereby, ease the pain and anxiety of her mother. Her initiative was taken with a positive response from the princess which also led to the mother's being paid wages to nurse her own son.

When you see an opportunity to help, to comfort and encourage – go for it! Be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1). A little act of kindness goes a long way, and you may be rewarded for it. Although, remuneration should not be your motive to act kindly but to help for God looks at the intentions of the heart.

Be courageous. 

Miriam, despite being a slave and a child, took the courage to speak to the princess. Ask God to give you the courage to speak and wisdom to say the right words. God will honor your request and will meet your need and needs of others as you carry out your good intentions.

These lessons are not new, they’ve been there all along. But it’s easy to forget and now’s the time to be reminded of again.

Maybe  you have a daughter or son or someone you know in a similar situation. Maybe you don’t know what to say. It’s a whole new world out there, and it is grace to encourage them today.

Dear moms, it is our heart’s desire for our children to make it in this great and exciting world so let’s equip our children ready to face the challenges ahead, one step at a time.

Monday, 25 July 2016

When children experience a kid’s camp they will never forget

The week pass in a slow motion of time, their houses are empty, deafening silence exist. 

A different timeline in the manor is happening. It is a week full-packed of activities – crafts, group works, bible studies, dance, swimming, picnic and bonfire and talent night. A week of fellowship and worship. And, this is for kids. It is our kids camp!

They came with excitement, their smile is bigger than their faces, glad to join old friends and meet new ones. See the bond exist and increase as the days go by. They held onto each other and onto their youth leaders who are like big brothers and big sisters, who guide them through all the activities in the camp.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV

This is a journey to meet and know God, who loves the little ones. He delights with every child who listens to bible stories told, every praise song sang and every prayer uttered. Each passing day is a growing relationship with the Father.

In their homesickness dwells the holy presence of the most high God, who satisfies the child’s longings for a father and mother. Their blessed tears flow like a river to wash away fears and refresh even the youngest soul in worship.

In that distant place is a familiar, gentle face of a Father who listens to their prayers and speaks through his powerful Word read out aloud or memorized in silence. Each spoken word is a gentle blessing which reveals an unwavering promise of the Faithful to the little hearts who believe that it is not magic that makes things happen but faith.

When David struck Goliath with a sling and with a stone, he did it by faith and killed the giant Philistine. 1 Samuel 17

When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, he was not harmed because he had faith in God. Daniel ch 6.

In their youth, David and Daniel became champions for God. Our children, too, are little champions of God.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ESV

This is the mission to equip kids to live a healthy, happy, spirit-filled life ready to walk in the direction where God leads them to. There is value, so rich in training no parent can ignore. Reward awaits the faithful.

In the kitchen, our morning prayers remind us of the abundance of grace that fill our camp place. It seeks to bless every one that serves – the hands that prepare and serve at every meal or teach every dance, the tongues that give instruction and encouragement, the ears that listen to every child’s needs and requests and eyes that see that every child is happy and content. Of this, the heart of our kitchen lies, the calm before the storm at mealtimes, where dining is the only refuge for hungry little tums.

The chatting is endless, everyone is making friends, a connection for this moment or til life’s end. Their chores divided, little hands learn and show responsible sense. Thus, a visit by Irish boxer Katie Taylor who gently hung a gold medal around their neck is their surprise reward.

The field downhill came alive with roaring laughter, messy games of creamy suds and cheese curls on their faces, slippery soccer and catch-a-water balloon, it was so much fun! She lost her eyeglasses there. Her vision impaired, didn’t mind the blur and haze, still saw the light created by the bonfire bright. Inspiring messages are heard as told by the senior campers, their best memories recounted.

It’s the end at last! The camp is over. Everyone is excited to see their moms and dads. Their rooms are tidied for one last time. All bags are packed- ready to go, waiting outside the manor door. 

In the sanctuary, one more last church service is heard. They broke bread and gave thanks to our God, the Father, our camp master and overseer, for the fellowship and start of a growing relationship with him as we all hope, for the seeds are now planted. The torch lit up, passed onto one another, symbolize a glowing faith to our God, who graced their hearts with the love of an eternal father standing in the midst of their fellowship and worship.

One by one, they came out, familiar faces waiting with blessed smiles and warm embrace soothe the wistfulness like a balm. One last look at the manor conveys a message that they will be back again next year. There will be new campers and new leaders. And they will make another experience they will never forget.

Glory to God for Answered Prayers

Prayer is a timeless expression of faith. We pray at every opportunity about anything that concerns us. We ask God to provide for our eve...